The Pronoun Project came to mind when I was first presented with the idea of preferred pronouns at Brown University. It was a phrase I had never heard of before, and I was very interested to find out about it. Brown opened my eyes, and showed me this area affects many people around me because not everyone is comfortable with the gender they are assumed to be. I am very passionate about this topic, and even though I’m still researching and learning more about it each day, I am prepared to take action because everyone deserves to be respected.
I want to be able to expose the students at my school to topics they have not been exposed to before, including gender pronouns. As I came to Brown, and took the Women and Leadership class, it changed my views. This is why I want to prepare the students at my school for what’s to come in the future so they aren’t surprised and so they don’t have any negative views towards anyone.
To start off my Action Plan, I must first talk to the administration at my school so they allow me to implement the project at school. My plan is to give presentations during my school’s flex week, which is two weeks of having just two classes a day from 8:10-12:40. This is where we are allowed to give most of our presentations to our classes, so I thought it would be the perfect time. I would give presentations to eight classes of about 30 students. My presentations would be about 20 minutes per class, just to give them information to be careful with their actions and to respect others identities. I would start off every presentation, by presenting myself with my preferred pronouns and then go around the room, so they could present themselves with their preferred pronouns too. The presentations would include me talking about gender identity and how it’s important, videos on gender identity and preferred pronouns, and activities that will get them involved to show them how other students might feel. Then key questions in every presentation would be; how would you feel if you put yourself in their shoes, what if you weren’t respected and comfortable for who you are?
Working alone wouldn’t be enough. The relationships built with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) club is crucial as they are the ones who will be directly working with the future generations to come of high school students to provide them with resources on spreading pronoun awareness. They would also help gain this action a lot more credibility.
Throughout the semester, gathering other students that are passionate is a necessity to help plan events to host throughout the school year to spread awareness. Some events may include; making buttons with your preferred pronouns and workshops that talk more in depth about gender identity and how it plays an important role in everyone’s lives. Not only would they be a lot of help planning events, but they would gain skills to be able to keep spreading awareness when I graduate high school.
Students aren’t the only people that will be informed, the faculty will also be informed of what to expect. They need to be aware of these problems to be able to help the students if anything is needed. They also need to be socially aware because their students will be changing in a positive way and they must be ready for it.
Constraints and Challenges
I know there may be many struggles when trying to pursue this plan. For example, my school may not even let me implement my plan or many students may not care and just not listen. Others may just be completely against it and may give me a hard time. I know there is going to be many struggles, but I’m ready to go through them to spread awareness. If my school doesn’t allow me to give the presentations, I will try in other locations, or personally ask teachers individually if they are okay with me giving presentations. I will simply just try to ignore the negativity and if that isn’t enough, I know there will be other students who will support me and will help me get through this plan. I just won’t lose hope, I won’t give up.
If out of all this only a few people become aware, I’ve done my job because it’s going to take time and I know I can’t get this all done at once. Just knowing that a few students are aware compared to no student being aware does create change, slowly, but one day it will create a great impact. I know I’ve done my job of spreading awareness is when introducing ourselves to a class or group of people, we also include our preferred pronouns.
I would have also implemented my leadership skills I learned from the program, and that’s more I could ask for. I know there is no perfect leader, but if people come back and tell me that I’ve done a great job, and that I’ve made them realize things they wouldn’t have without my help, is more than enough and I know I’ve done my job.